2022-23 SDG-GE Summer Course
UGED2297 Understanding in Practice: From Meditation to Mindfulness (2 credits)

Faced with academic pressures and challenges in interpersonal relations and adapting to society, our life easily becomes a chaotic swirl of anger, fear, or even hopelessness. If a storm is inevitable, can we find that stillness within the storm to rethink the real purpose of life, and to renew hope for fulfillment and happiness of oneself and the others? Promoting “Good Health and Well-being” is one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) initiated by the United Nations in 2015, conveying the importance of attention for good mental health. The course offers an opportunity for learning mindfulness meditation through experience, which helps students to understand relevant theories and knowledge of “Mindfulness meditation”, as well as its applications to personal life and social settings in a more concrete and substantial context.

From the formal practice of sitting cross-legged and quietly counting the breaths to the informal practice of embracing each moment in daily life, students will be guided to cultivate “right mindfulness,” one of the Eightfold Paths to end suffering. Such practices are grounded in ancient Buddhist sutras named Anapanasati (“mindfulness breathing”) and Satipatthana (“foundation of mindfulness”), and 2,500 years of lay and monastic practice.

Students joining this course will attend a seven-day study trip at Plum Village, France to experience mindfulness trainings. Through undisturbed practice with peers, students are expected to master the basics of Buddhist meditation for stillness, wisdom, and a habit of mindful living. Students also have the opportunity to visit the local Buddhist monastery and Christian church in Hong Kong to experience the various meditation traditions.

Course Structure

The course consists of three parts:

  • Pre-trip classes: Students are required to attend lectures and tutorials at CUHK. Contents includes Buddhist/Christian thoughts and their meditation traditions, mindfulness meditation and its modern applications. In tutorials, teachers will guide students for a close reading of classics about mindfulness practices, and engage in discussions and sharing. Attendance at lectures is a prerequisite for participation in the retreat.
  • Experiential learning: In a seven-day retreat at Plum Village, France students will learn the basic skills of meditation and practice mindfulness in sitting, walking, working etc. Students will cultivate understanding and compassion through deep listening, sharing, and participation in talks and ceremonies. Students might also have the opportunity to visit local Buddhist monastery and Christian church in Hong Kong.
  • Seminar: After the retreat, students are required to give group presentations reporting their learning during the retreat, and to submit a reflective essay.

Medium of Instruction

The course will be delivered in Cantonese, with English/Putonghua as a supplement.


The Office of University General Education will cover the local transportation between the meeting place in Bordeaux, France and Plum Village, and the basic costs of the retreat, including tuition, vegan meals and accommodation. Students will be responsible for the transportation fee to Bordeaux, France and necessary gears and gadgets for the retreat.  


Students must have taken or be taking the course “UGFH1000 In Dialogue with Humanity” at the time of application. Students should complete the online application form by 10 February 2023, uploading a personal statement and a copy of an updated academic transcript at CUHK. The personal statement will make important reference for selecting students for the course. Students may explain the motivation for taking the course, personal expectations, prior knowledge (if any) of mindfulness and its applications, and prior experience (if any) with related practices. It should be no longer than 800 characters in Chinese, or 500 words in English.

Important Dates 

19 January 2023 Information Session
Time: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Language: Cantonese
Venue: WMY 508
20 January 2023 Application starts
10 February 2023 Application Deadline
17 February 2023 Interviews
24 February 2023 Announcement of Interview Results
3 March 2023 Confirmation and Payment of Refundable Deposit by Students
19, 22-25 May Lectures and tutorials
2-9 June 2023 Retreat at Plum Village
27-30 June 2023 Post-retreat Seminar
To be confirmed Specific dates on the visit to Buddhist monastery and Christian church in HK to be confirmed


Organizing the retreat involves a lot of planning and coordination in advance. Therefore, the course will not follow the regular schedule of course enrollment of CUHK. Once the interview results are announced, shortlisted students will be required to indicate acceptance of the offer and pay a caution deposit of HKD 2,000 within one week, which will be fully refundable on the successful completion of the course. The Office of University General Education will then proceed with the course enrollment on CUSIS. Once enrolled, students are not allowed to drop the course except under special circumstances.

In consideration of the changing situation of COVID-19 pandemic, this course might be subject to alteration or cancellation. Latest information will be released via email to all enrolled students.

For details about Plum Village, please visit:

For any queries, please email: